May 1, 2018

Tuesday, May 1, 2018, Victor Barocas

 The Multifunctional Tool.

18. *Tuna eater's tool, maybe: CAN OPENER.

24. *Eyebrow-plucking tool: TWEEZERS.

36. *Shape of rotini pasta: CORKSCREW.

41. *Cocktail frank stabber: TOOTHPICK.

48. *Loser to rock, beater of paper: SCISSORS.

58. With 60-Across, contraption that usually includes the answers to the starred clues: SWISS ARMY. 60. See 58-Across: KNIFE.

Let's see what other fun Victor brings today.


1. Goldman's partner: SACHS. Marcus Goldman and Samuel Sachs.  The large multinational investment bank. 

6. Socially awkward sort: DORK.  Clark Kent ?

10. Potter's material: CLAY.

14. Voyager 1, e.g.: PROBE.

15. Like James Bond antagonists: EVIL.

16. With 11-Down, 2016 almost-Oscar-winning movie: LA LA.  11D. See 16-Across: LAND.  At the 2017 OSCAR awards ceremony,  La La Land won six OSCARS, and was erroneously awarded a seventh for Best Picture.  Moonlight was the real 2016 Best Picture award winner.  

17. Screen legend Flynn: ERROL. Swashbuckling swordsman.

20. Neither's partner: NOR.  If a verb is already in the negative, then partners either and or  are used.

21. Boxing ref's decision: TKO.

23. Worked, as dough: KNEADED.

27. Family room: DEN.

28. Captain's group: CREW.  Ship, Captain and Crew is a game played with five dice.  Players ante in to the pot.  Only after getting the Ship (a six), Captain (a five) and Crew (a four) can you get the Cargo.  The player with the largest Cargo total (point value of the other two dice) wins the pot.  

29. Spring shape: COIL.

31. Lottery ticket purchase, essentially: BET.

34. Michaelmas daisy: ASTER.  Daisy ?  Five letters.  See if ASTER fits.  It should.  It does.  Look up Michaelmas daisy later.   Oh, a daisy that blooms around Michaelmas (Sept 29th).   The largest group of Michaelmas daisies, with over 1,000 named cultivars is symphyotrichum novi-belgii.  That means "hair growing together - from New York".   They are also known as New York asters.  The weird stuff you learn on the internet...

38. Trendy: CHIC.

39. Sixth __: intuition: SENSE.  I have an intuition that blog-follower Fact Checker (and others) are looking up New York asters right about now.

40. Émile who wrote "J'Accuse...!": ZOLA.

43. "Miracle on 34th Street" store: MACYS.

44. Thor, to Odin: SON.

45. Its football team has played Harvard 134 times: YALE.

46. Grand Marquis, for short: MERC.

47. 2100, to Augustus: MMC. When the Roman statesman and military leader added one thousand, plus one thousand, plus one hundred, his total was MMC.

52. Adjusted (to): ATTUNED.

56. Dorm mgrs.: RAs.  Dormitory managers: Resident Assistants. 

57. "Ben-Hur" author Wallace: LEW.  I read Ben-Hur Wallach, assumed actor, saw the answer needed three letters and entered Eli.  How do you say bzzzt ?  You can read about Indiana-born, Civil War General and author Lew Wallace at  Britannica Biography: Lewis-Wallace.

62. Pub size: PINT.

63. "The World According to __": GARP.  Never read it, but have heard of it.  Almost entered the synonym for trail mix.

64. Concave navel: INNIE.

65. Not leave: STAY.  Love it when Rosemary Butler joins in, then get a chuckle out of the falsetto a few seconds later.

66. Leave: EXIT.  But they just asked me to stay, just a little bit longer.    What a twist !

67. Surprising plot development: TWIST.  O. Henry.   'nuff said ?


1. Used up: SPENT.

2. Cursor shape: ARROW.  The standard mouse pointer on a computer is an arrow, but you can select from a variety of others.  

3. Proofer's change: CORRECTION. After the blue-pencil.  Editing vs Proofreading  

4. "Game of Thrones" network: HBO.

5. Soda water: SELTZER.  Carbonated water.

6. Interior designer's concern: DECOR. Are all of these  Fixer Upper decors going out of style ?

7. Eggs, to a biologist: OVA.

8. Hockey venue: RINK.  The Pittsburgh Penguins play at PPG Paints Arena.

9. Yukon gold rush region: KLONDIKE.

We had an Isaly's  restaurant in our small town in N.E. Ohio.  Isaly's invented the Klondike Bar.  I knew of it long before I knew of the Yukon gold rush region.  Isaly's was also regionally famous for its "Skyscraper" ice cream cones and chip-chop ham.  There are now 14 flavors of the Klondike bar.

10. Wash the dirt off: CLEAN.

12. Protected at sea: ALEE.

13. Three feet: YARD.  Is it possible to get a complete food storage center... less than a yard wide ?

19. Banana leftovers: PEELS.

22. Royal Botanic Gardens locale: KEW.   Kew is WSW of London proper.  About 30 minutes on the Tube from Westminster.   Zoom in and the take the satellite view.  Zoom out to get your bearings.

25. Build: ERECT.

26. Wall-mounted light fixtures: SCONCES.

30. Ural River city: ORSK. Today's second pictorial geography lesson:
A 23 hour drive from Orsk to Omsk

31. Hybrid green veggie with small florets: BROCCOLINI.  Just saw this recipe for pan roasted broccolini  on an episode of Growing A Greener World. 

32. Slippery: EELY.

33. "__ the night before ... ": TWAS.

34. Play divisions: ACTS.

35. "Go away!": SHOO.

36. Finish the top of, as a room: CEIL.  To provide with a roof.   In French, ceil is eye, and ciel is sky.

37. Business magnates: CZARS.

39. Era that began with Sputnik: SPACE AGE.  Jump on that bandwagon.  Don't get left behind !

42. Church songs: HYMNS.

43. Soldier's cooking supplies: MESS KIT.  Field utensils.

46. Actress Farrow: MIA.

47. In need of air freshener: MUSTY.  Not that olives smell musty, but I had to get this vid in somewhere after Sunday's discussion of olive trees.  Gary mentioned seeing them in Tuscany.  We just saw this episode Saturday.  

49. Burial chamber: CRYPT.

50. Int.-reducing mortgages: RE-FIs.  Hi Lemonade !

51. Like sugar: SWEET.  How long before fresh sweet corn ?

52. Egyptian snakes: ASPs

53. Foolish one: TWIT.

54. Funny Fey: TINA.

55. "The Destroyer" of Marvel Comics: DRAX.  No idea.  Wagged the A.

59. Med. scan: MRIMagnetic Resonance Imaging.

61. Opposite of SSE: NNW.

Here's the grid.  See all y'all later n'at !

52 comments: said...


Thanks to Victor and TTP!

No problems! Easier than yesterday!

Hope to see you tomorrow! said...

Rabbit! Rabbit!

Dudley said...

Rabbit Rabbit

Dudley said...

Hello Puzzlers -

Having just refreshed the write-up page, I have now learned of Argyle’s passing. Our Corner has lost a cornerstone. I am saddened by the news...RIP, our Crossword friend.

Barry T. said...

I don't post often, but I read the blog daily. Rest in peace, Argyle. You'll be missed.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

Surprised and saddened at the news, though it wasn't totally unexpected. He'll certainly be missed here at the Corner. Goodbye, old friend

Victor got me with his Russian geography. I had a morph-fest with OREL, OMSK, ORSK(?), guess so. If I counted correctly, this one was just a J and Q short of a pangram. Thanx, Victor, and thanx for the tour, TTP (actually "eye" begins with an "o").

Abejo said...

Good morning, folks. Thank you, Victor Barocas, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, TTP, for a fine review.

First, I am saddened, as you all are, with the passing of Argyle. He was one of the bedrocks of this puzzle blog. He will be missed by all.

The puzzle seemed easier than a Monday to me. Enjoyed it. The theme was clever. I have a swiss army knife. And, I always carry a pocket knife. I use it daily in my life. I have lost a few of them at airports through the years. I keep one in Pennsylvania for when I fly there. I cannot be without a knife. Amen.

The only word I did not know was DRAX. Perps fixed that.

I like KLONDIKE bars. We had a phrase associated with ISALY'S. I Shall Always Love you Sweetheart.

My wife and three other ladies from our church just left for a four day jaunt to Florida. Just the dog and I now. Our daughter will keep the dog while I am at work. Since I am gone every day for 16 hours.

See you tomorrow.


( )

Lemonade714 said...

It was appropriate to have a reference to A MIRACLE ON 34th STREET .


Hard to focus on Victor's puzzle. So long Marine.

Jinx in Norfolk said...

FIR, but erased linc for MERC (OK, it's a Ford) and Eli (hi TTP) for LEW. Didn't know Michaelmas, ZOLA, KEW, ORSK, BROCCOLINI, CEIL, or DRAX.

Thanks to Victor and TTP for a fun puzzle and expo, even though the joy is greatly muted by the loss of our dear Argyle.

inanehiker said...

I wasn't sure if there was going to be a unifier clue - that maybe it was just utensils - but then a two clue grid spanner- fun!

Sad to hear about Santa...thanks for pointing out the CSO with the Miracle on 34th St. clue, Lemonade!

Thanks TTP and Victor!

thehondohurricane said...

I feel any comments I may have about todays puzzle are innapropriate considering Santa's passing. Rest in peace Argyle.

Madame Defarge said...

Thanks, Victor and TTP. I had a lot of fun with this until I read C.C.'s news. Feeling sad. . . .

Yellowrocks said...

So sad to hear of Argyle's passing. May he finally rest in peace. He was, indeed, a very special fixture on this blog and will be greatly missed.
CC, would you please supply an address for Jennifer and for the family so that we may send sympathy cards.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

Shocking news this morning upon coming to the corner; especially after having just seen our dear shipmate just 3 days ago. His visage and demeanor seemed to indicate to this lay person that he would be with us for quite a while. Maybe it was pre-ordained that I would have need to travel to Saratoga and so, could take time out to pay Argyle a short visit. ( I had met him once before at the Washington Co. Fair, I think in 2114.). Betty and I are glad we did.
Many of you write much better than I on matters of deep feeling and memorialization. Let me just say I'm proud to have known him. He was a core part of this blog and of invaluable help to C.C. in managing it. Condolences to Jennifer and the Nichols Family.
Through tears I say "Farewell my friend. Semper Fi, and fair winds and following seas."

Spitzboov said...

Not much to say on the puzzle. Easy solve. Liked the SWISS ARMY KNIFE theme. I keep a small one in my desk.
Wanted BROCCOLI, but it wasn't long enough. Not familiar with BROCCOLINI.

C.C. has a puzzle in today's WSJ.

GrannyAnny said...

Thank you for all of the enjoyment you have added to this blog over the years. May you rest in peace.

CanadianEh! said...

A lovely Tuesday puzzle finished quickly before I came here to discover the sad news of Scott's passing. RIP. Thanks for the CW and explanation, Victor and TTP.

I bought a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife on my Switzerland trip.
Hand up for waiting for the ending of BROCCOLI NI to fill with perps.
DRAX was the other unknown.

I wanted Nerd before DORK (and we also had TWIT).
Tomb would not fit and I waited for CRYPT.
No metric measurements today with YARD and PINT.
Another reference to TOOTHPICK and Stab today.

I smiled at the rhyming LEW and KEW. There is a Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington/Hamilton area, Ontario. Beautiful, as is Kew which I have visited also.
I was misdirected with wishful thinking at "Spring shape" to something like Tulip until COIL appeared.

I noted MACYS crossed by TWAS. Like Lemonade, I reflect on the appropriateness of the Christmas references and our Santa!

WikWak said...

Feeling a little lost... a lot sad. Glad at least that the pain and anguish are finally over for our dear friend.

As for the puzzle, it was, as Spitzboov noted Monday-easy. Also like Spitzboov, I did not know BROCCOLINI. Got as far as BROCCOLI - - and decided to come back to it later. Then when I was finished I remembered the 2 letters I'd left blank; seems the perps had taken care of them. Still never hesrd of broccolini but then there are lots of other things I don’t know...

Goodbye, Santa.

Misty said...

Yes, it's hard to write about the puzzle after the sad, sad news about Argyle's loss this morning. I debated whether to comment, but think he would have encouraged us to keep the spirit of the blog on this sad day.

So, here goes. Wonderful puzzle, Victor (didn't we just see your picture on the blog a few days ago?), many thanks. Ironically, I worked on a Merl Reagle puzzle at bedtime last night, like I do every night, and the theme and hidden title of the puzzle (volume 10) turned out to be SWISS ARMY KNIFE but with totally different theme answers. So this was a special delight and surprise this morning. And I got the whole thing without any cheating--woohoo! Only word that I'd never heard and that surprised me was DRAX, but EXIT had to be right so that took care of that. And many thanks for the write-up.

Ol'Man Keith, I woke up with a tune in my head this morning, and it turned out to be from the song "Luck, be a lady tonight" (is that the right name?). I had wondered about your reference to "luck" as a "gentleman" yesterday, but didn't think much about it. But somehow in my sleep I must have figured it out.

No, this won't be a great day for blog members, but thank you all for providing comfort for each other on this sad day.

CrossEyedDave said...

There are not enough words,
yet I do not have the heart to used any of them.

Rest in peace Argyle,

There is a hole in our world...

Roy said...

Relative zip-through for a difference. DRAX only by perps. OMSK before ORSK.

I remember Isaly's from my family's time in western PA.

From Saturday: Is Bryan CRANSTON related to Lamont?e

Wilbur Charles said...

I was shocked reading about the sad news . Thank God we have Misty to convey the thoughts in my/our head especially that Argyle would want us to "Carry on".

I made a reference (speaking as Owen often does of prescience) to Garrison Keillor FLN re. his final Post article.
The French author I referred to was Zola and J'Accuse .

Yes, l'oeil is EYE and l'arc en ciel is RAINBOW. LIU'ED, CEIL is indeed what the clue( 36d) said.

I too thought the city was OMSK. I was at breakfast yesterday and thought of doing a group xword . I thought better of it but today would be excellent for beginners except for a little crunch towards the end .

I had a mini swiss knife hanging from a key chain that was confiscated when I dropped into a library in Canada. That's the problem post 911 .


Bill G said...

Thanks Victor and TTP.

I'm saddened by the news about Argyle this morning though it wasn't entirely unexpected. I'd like to echo Spitzboov's thoughtful words and agree that most others give words to these thoughts better than I can.

I'll talk more to you leter.

Glenn Cox said...

I loved his comments and humor. He will be missed.

Chairman Moe said...

"Puzzling Thoughts":

As I noted on the announcement from CC, I too, am saddened by the news of Scot Nichols passing. As a relatively new member of the LAT Xword Corner, Argyle's recaps on Monday and Tuesday were like clockwork. He'll be missed, but I also hope remembered, whenever a puzzle reference (e.g., TWAS, and the clue for 43a) to "Santa" appears.

OMSK>ORSK; OILY>EELY. Once those two solved, the rest of the puzzle fell into place. CEIL was a perp - makes SENSE, I guess, as it's part of the word ceiling.

Not feeling "punny" today; maybe we need a real haiku to honor Scot:

We've lost a good friend;
And maybe his best gift was
Just being Santa

Picard said...

Oh, no. Where is the news about Argyle passing? I did not see it yesterday or today or on the Argyle update blog. I am so sad. I was so looking forward to having him back.

He was always so kind about answering all of my questions. Often directly by email. This is a very sad day, indeed.

D4E4H in BLACK said...

Thank you Mr. Victor Barocas for this lovely CW, and TTP for your excellent review.

My grief prevents me from further comments on the CW, and yet I must remember that it is the reason we gather on the Corner.


Lucina said...

Sadness envelops me as it does all of you. We have lost our dear Blog friend and shall miss him. This is the second long-distance friend gone in a week. Those of you in Arizona know of CLAY Thompson's (CSO for him today) passing and how much joy he brought to readers just as Argyle did to us. I commend you to the Lord, dear Argyle. Rest in peace.

Life goes on and so I thank Victor Barocas and TTP for today's grid. I don't have the heart to say much else except that I finished it very quickly. My late DH had a SWISSARMY KNIFE but it somehow disappeared.

I liked seeing ERROL, ZOLA, and LEW today.

I wish you serenity and love on this sad day, everyone. Every day is a gift.

Picard said...

A very enjoyable theme for me. Anyone else amused about VICTOR/VICTORINOX!

My father used Swiss Wild Heerbrugg microscopes in his biology research. They gave him a SWISS ARMY KNIFE on two occasions. He kept the one with the SCISSORS and gave the simpler one to me. His was eventually stolen from a swimming pool locker room. I had mine all through high school and college in the 70s. But sometime in the 80s I was very sad to lose mine, too. I cannot be without one!

In more recent years I have switched to this tiny #54031.

Thanks TTP for the MERCury Blue link. I thought of that song immediately. I only know the Steve Miller Band version. Learning moment that the song goes back to 1948! I love the SPACE AGE image!

I have seen Jackson Browne perform STAY as his finale many times. He lives nearby and here he was kind enough to pose with me.

Only small beef with the cluing: I don't think of a MESS KIT as "cooking supplies". Anyone else? Almost had OMSK before ORSK. DRAX unknown, but I did see the GARP movie when I was a grad student.

A couple of years ago I was at YALE visiting the sister of a friend who works there. I will have to look for those photos.

BillG and Mike SherlineI hope you saw my late replies last night. Thanks!

Tinbeni said...

Pinch, Pinch ...

RIP Argyle, you will be Toasted at Sunset.


Jayce said...

So saddened to learn of Argyle's passing. Had no idea he was that ill. Spitzboov and Misty expressed so well how I feel. Be at peace, good man.

Jayce said...

Had to smile at MUSTY in the puzzle because it made me think of our Misty. By the way, Misty, we are planning a little family get-together long weekend in June sometime, and Laguna Beach is pretty much right in the middle, a good meeting point. You live there, right? Can you maybe give me some tips on what to do and where to stay? If you prefer not to discuss it here on the blog, please feel free to email me at the address on my profile. Thank you!

john28man said...

I am saddened by Argyle's passing RIP.

Husker Gary said...

-Puzzle seems less important on this sad day
-I missed the theme forest as I was looking at all the trees that made up the long fills on this easy Tuesday puzzle

Irish Miss said...

RIP, Argyle. You body may have left us but your spirit will be with us always.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Oh No!
I just read TTP's woeful report of the passing of Argyle. May he rest in peace.
This is terrible news. I had feared something like this because his extended hospitalization/rehab paralleled my brother's history in too many ways.
April/May feels like the wrong time of the year to see such sad reports. I hope that Argyle knew how much he was loved - and that he felt his life was fulfilled and had a peaceful ending.
My condolences to his family and closest friends.

Today's pzl from Mr. Barocas was a solid contribution, a worthy easy-to-swallow distraction from the sad news of the day.

Diagonal Report: Three diagonals, a 3-way slash on the mirror side (NE to SW). No hidden message, although today's diags yield a number of short words along the vertical axes: ALE, AND, EEL, PAC(?), TIN, & WIT.
PIN appears in a SW horizontal.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Yellowrocks et al,

You can send sympathy cards to this address:

Jennifer Ballard
188 West Rd.
Argyle, NY 12809

Thank you for the kindness.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Yes, "Luck be a Lady" is a highlight of Guys and Dolls, one of the few musicals I really enjoyed directing.
But that was Sky's imaginary gender projection. His companion would necessarily be a "dame, a broad, even a Lady."
For you, it seemed only right that Luck (Good Luck, at least) should be a gent.

Lucina said...

Thank you for that address.

Irish Miss said...

I hope I can elicit a tiny smile, a momentary break in our sadness with this heartwarming experience I had earlier today. After my haircut appointment, I went to the grocery store. I normally don't ask for help to the car but I did today because my order was quite large with lots of heavy items. A very personable young lady wheeled the cart to the car and transferred beaucoup bags into the trunk. I tried to hand her a couple of dollars tip but she said she wasn't allowed to accept it. I tried to insist and she said if she accepted it, she could be fired. I then asked if I could just put it in her pocket and she said no again and then said, "But, I CAN accept a hug, I love hugs!" So, we hugged and she took the empty cart, started walking back to the store and said, very sincerely, "You drive safe, now, and God Bless."

Mary Keller said...

I don't post very often, but come daily to see your comments and your take on the puzzles. I was saddened to read of Argyles passing. It was always a boost to see his name in a post. My husband had an amputation 2015 June, and only made it until 2015 August.

Kalista Bloch said...

I'll ask Jennifer to save the cards to bring to the gathering.

Misty said...

Jayce, how nice that you might have a family get-together in Laguna. So, it's a little crazy here in the summer because the place is incredibly crowded with tourists and traffic is terrible. Sadly, I've hardly been downtown for the last ten years because Rowland's disability after his stroke kept me pretty housebound and since then, my needy dog requires a sitter, so I don't get out much now either. I have at times put relatives up at the Pacific Edge Hotel, which is not on the beach, but very near, and is close to downtown and has lots of restaurants right beside it. The fancier places are Surf and Sand, and of course, the Ritz-Carlton down in Dana Point. But I suspect those are pretty prohibitive these days. You might also check out places on Balboa Island. But you might want to check all this out pretty soon because, as I say, everything fills up early and quickly. In any case, I hope you and your family have a wonderful get-together, wherever you take it. (Any further suggestions, Ol'Man Keith?)

Jayce said...

Misty, thank you. That helps a lot.

Mike Sherline said...

Picard - yes, and the comments on your article seemed to me to border on bullying ("you're a racist"; "no I'm not, you are - anyone who thinks like/says what you did is a racist"), though maybe on a slightly more literate level than the ones on the average youtube.

Everyone, though I've only been here around 5 years I've always appreciated Argyle's posts and puzzle writeups, especially his prompt answers to questions, patient explanations and that he consistently expanded any abbreviations or acronyms in clues and answers. I'm so sorry for his suffering and the loss to his family and loved ones. Semper Fi, rest in peace.

Pat said...

I was having a great day until I read C.C.'s post about Argyle's passing. RIP, Scott. My condolences to his family and his friends. He will be missed.

I enjoyed the puzzle and expo, Victor B and TTP. Just a couple write-overs today and I even got the theme!

Nothing else to say this quiet evening.

Anonymous said...

I have never commented before on this blog. I have been reading it for years. I am so sorry to hear of Argyle’s passing. His family and friends have my sincere condolences.

MJ said...

Jayce--Misty has given you very good advice, indeed, regarding Laguna Beach's summer crowds and traffic. Perhaps you might want to consider Dana Point (on the coast, just a few miles south of Laguna Beach) as a place to stay. It is much less crowded, and there are a number of comfortable hotels at or near Dana Point Harbor. There are also quite a few restaurants to choose from, and many activities available, as well. Do take Misty's advice and act soon, as accommodations fill up quickly at this time of the year. Good luck!

TX Ms said...

I was so very saddened with the news that Argyle passed away. I always enjoyed his refreshing acerbic wit and though I lost track of who blogs which day, I could always tell it was Santa after reading a couple of comments. I was hoping that he would one day return to the Corner, if not to blog regularly, but at least to "give his opinion" on a particular clue/answer.

Spitzboov, I was glad that you were able to visit Argyle, and I'm sure your visit was certainly a day-brightener for him during his ordeal.

Anonymous T said...

Hi All!

Hey, why's everyone so down? You guys sound like someone...

I finished the grid early morning and came to the Corner to quickly find out what CEIL meant before really settling in for work... And then I got sad.

I was so sure in a week or so Argyle would pipe-up with one of his trademark one-liners that would make me giggle. Give it a few more weeks and he'd be back on Tuesday duty picking up for that slacker.*

I'm sure Argyle didn't count me as a friend; I counted him as one. He'd always answer my emails - even just the ones of me thanking him for cleaning up my cruft's crumbs.
I recall one time -- there was a snark on very late -- and I emailed Scott to notify him.
About 4 hours later, responding to my 2 or three attempts to get his attention, said something to the effect "I'm not always here - sometimes I sleep you know."

No, it was more like he was always here. Rest in Peace D. Scott (St.)Nick, RIP.

Thank you Victor for this fine puzzle; I'm sorry for you that it ran today. There was some cute stuff (Stay, Exit) and the other goodies TTP called out.

TTP - thank you for your expo. I know you did the write-up before news broke and, in a way, the levity was welcome.

Nice one Moe. Perfect.

With sadness, -T
*I'm kidding TTP!

Misty said...

MJ, thank you for your response to Jayce with additional very helpful information. I'm guessing you live in the South Coast area, and are a neighbor of sorts. How nice!

Jayce said...

Thank you MJ